Carljohan Eriksson has revealed he wants to challenge for a start at Dundee United ‘straight away’.
United’s new Finnish goalkeeper’s work permit was granted on Tuesday by the UK Government – and he joined his new teammates for training as they returned from the Premiership’s winter break.
Trevor Carson – who has departed on loan to Morcambe – struggled to displace Benjamin Siegrist from between the sticks at United.
But Finnish internationalist Eriksson is ready to fight for his place at Tannadice – starting now.
“I want to challenge straight away,” he said.
“But I also realise there might be a bit of an acclimatisation period, where I get used to everything – the training schedule, how we train, the workload, stuff like that.
“I obviously know Benji’s (Benjamin Siegrist’s) role in the squad and in the club and what he has accomplished – and I have the utmost respect for that as well.
“So I know my starting point but I will definitely be here to contend to play.”
Asked about Siegrist, who has been linked with a pre-contract switch to Rangers, being tough to displace, Eriksson added: “Definitely. He has performed very well.
🗣 "I want to get up and running as quick as possible, so I can perform at my best level and help the team."
📺 Exclusive full interview with goalkeeper Carljohan Eriksson is now available to view on DUTV#UnitedTogether
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) January 11, 2022
“It will be fun to train both with him, with Tony (Caig, goalkeeping coach) and the younger boys as well.”
Speaking to Dundee United’s online TV channel, DUTV, Eriksson revealed he is no stranger to battling for recognition.
But familiarity has not bred contempt for the 26-year-old.
“Over the past four, five years I’ve always been in the situation where I’ve had to push to actually be able to play,” he said.
“It has grown on me that I like the challenge. I wouldn’t want to be an outspoken number one with no challenge behind me.
“I’ve never been in that situation and if I got to choose, I would rather have someone breathing down my neck to make sure I stay on my toes.”
Eriksson also believes a competitive atmosphere within a squad is essential to drive players – especially goalkeepers – on to improvement.
And he is relishing the thought of just such an environment at Dundee United.
He said: “What most goalkeepers usually realise quite early is that even though we’re competitors and fierce rivals, we should have no grudge against each other because we’re not the ones choosing the team.
“We should push each other and use each other to get the best out of ourselves.
“That’s the environment I want to be in and to help create here.”